Initiated back in the year 2005 by the Reserve Bank of India, NEFT in very simple terms is a mode of one to one payment. NEFT stands for National Electronic Fund Transfer and allows individuals, firms and corporates to send funds to another entity electronically anywhere within the country. For you to be able to initiate a NEFT transaction from your bank, your bank needs to be part of the NEFT network. You can have access to the list of all banks that are part of the NEFT network by visiting the official website of RBI. The payment mode has seen immense popularity even since its introduction.
Can One Transfer Funds?
An individual, a firm or corporates, having an active bank account can transfer funds with the help of NEFT. Even if you do not have a bank account, you can still participate in a NEFT transaction. You would need to go to any branch that is NEFT-enabled and on filling up of a form you can transfer funds via NEFT. The only downside of it being, you can transfer only up to Rs. 50,000 at once. Customers, who walk in to branches for NEFT, need to furnish various details such as the account number, address and IFSC code and contact information. Thus, there are no restrictions from usage point of view when it comes to NEFT.
Can One Receive Funds?
When it comes to receiving funds, any individual, firms or companies can be on the receiving end if they have an active account with any bank. Unlike transferring or sending funds, you need to have an account so that you can receive the funds in it. Also, the branch that is on the receiving end should be part of the NEFT network.
As per the Indo-Nepal Remittance Facility Scheme, you can transfer money to anyone in Nepal via NEFT. The most interesting part of this facility is that, the person on the other end would receive the funds irrespective of whether they have a bank account or not.
What are the NEFT Charges?
If you are at the receiving end of NEFT fund transfer, there are no charges levied on you. However, if you are initiating one, you would end up paying certain predefined charges. The following are the charges or rather caps on charges as defined by the Reserve Bank of India. Thus, the actual fees that your banks charge you might differ from the following:
- Transactions not exceeding Rs.10,000 can have maximum charges of Rs. 5 (+GST)
- Transactions above Rs.10,000 but less than Rs. 1 lakh can have maximum charges of Rs. 5 (+ GST)
- Transactions above Rs.1 lakh but less than Rs. 2 lakhs can have maximum charges of Rs. 15 (+ GST)
- Transactions above Rs.2 lakhs can have maximum charges of Rs. 25(+ GST)
If you wish to utilize the Indo-Nepal Remittance Facility Scheme, you can visit the RBI website. The website outlines the charges for the same. To ensure smooth functioning, RBI warrants all the banks to pay a charge of ₹ 0.25 to the clearing house as well as the receiving bank for every transaction. The RBI has made is very clear that the charges should not be passed on to the customers.
As of now, the operating hours of NEFT start from 8 AM until 7 PM. NEFT works on a queue and batch clearing mechanism, where all the settlement of all the queued-up requests takes place every hour. For a normal working weekday, there are about 23 settlement batches cleared every half-an hour. For all the working Saturdays, the operating hours of NEFT are 8 AM until 1 PM.
However, if you place any requests before or after these operating windows, they are usually cleared on the next available settlement window. For an example, requests made on Tuesday 9 PM will be cleared during the first or second batch of Wednesday. If you place a request on a Saturday evening, the same would be cleared off on Monday morning. And depending on when you place the request, the beneficiary would receive the amount. Usually, it takes about two business hours to clear a new request for NEFT.
What if amount is not credited?
There could be more than one reason for a NEFT transaction not being materialised. In such cases, the receiving bank must process the fund back within 2 working hours. In case a person places a NEFT request at 10.20 AM. If the next available slot is 10:30 AM, the transaction passes through the clearing house and reaches the recipient bank. If due to some reasons the bank is unable to credit the amount to the beneficiary, it must refund the amount by 1 PM to the originating bank. Once the originating bank receives the fund, it will pass it on to the sender.
If due to some reason you are unable to trace the fund, you can reach out to your bank. All bank websites have references for the all NEFT transactions done via their website. Once you provide your reference number, the Customer Facilitation Centre of your bank should be able to help you out. If you are not satisfied with the efforts or the end results, you can reach out to the Customer Facilitation Centre of Reserve Bank of India.
Tracking and Acknowledgement
There are instances where a NEFT transaction might be very urgent and you need to know the status for the same. With the help of the unique reference number, you can reach out to the Customer Facilitation Centre of your bank and they will help you out with tracking the transaction. On the completion of final settlement, i.e. once receiving bank credits the amount to the account of the beneficiary, the originating bank will provide you with an acknowledgement. Successful transaction messages are sent to the sender via the registered mobile number of email id.